Minister of Economy Nihat ZEYBEKÇİ visited ESBAS and the Aegean Free Zone on June 6 as part of his program in Izmir.
Governor of Izmir Mustafa TOPRAK, Deputy Minister from the Ministry of Economy Adnan YILDIRIM, Chief Advisor to the Minister of Economy Hasan KAZDAĞLI, along with Director General for Free Zones, Overseas Investments and Services Uğur ÖZTÜRK, Deputy Director General Cengiz GÜRSEL and Director of the Aegean Free Zone Şenay SATOĞLU escorted Minister ZEYBEKCİ, who met with the Chief Executive Officer of ESBAS, Dr. Faruk Güler.
Dr. GÜLER answered questions asked by the minister and the accompanying delegation after giving information about ESBAS and the Aegean Free Zone. GÜLER briefed the delegation on the investments and developments transpiring at the Aegean Free Zone over the years since its opening, and presented potential future works towards further growth of the Aegean Free Zone for the consideration and assessment of Minister ZEYBEKCİ. Delivering affirmative opinion over the expansion project of the Zone, the minister assigned duties and roles to take the relevant actions.
Expressing pride over the fact that the Aegean Free Zone ranks first among a total of 19 free zones in Turkey in terms of trade volume and employment, Minister ZEYBEKCİ said he is much satisfied with the success of the Zone in attracting foreign capital and having become a high-technology producing base. Following the meetings at ESBAS, Minister ZEYBEKCİ visited Hugo Boss, Fokker Elmo and Aero companies at the Aegean Free Zone, receiving information from senior executives about the operations of the companies, each of which are prominent examples of foreign direct investments.
Later attending the opening ceremony of Kale Pratt & Whitney with participation of President Abdullah Gul, Minister ZEYBEKCİ delivered a speech, focusing on the benefits of free zones for the economy. ZEYBEKCİ further noted that free zones play a pivotal role in attracting international investors into Turkey and that 19 free zones in Turkey totaled a high of 7.7 billion USD overseas sales last year, generating employment for 57,000 people, and added “Free zones will be an indispensable part of the 500 billion USD worth of export target.”
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